Our manifesto outlines “22 ways to build resilience and aspiration in people and communities” across five key areas. Download your copy.

Dismiss close

Offender management and rehabilitation

A review of Catch22’s intervention and delivery approach

Curved bookshelves filled with books stand in a library. Overlaid is text which reads "Justice literature reviews - commissioned rehabilitative services".

This paper has been created through Catch22’s Student Placement Programme in collaboration with students based at the University of Greenwich and aims to contribute to the principles of the What Works Network, which was created in 2013 “to ensure that the best available evidence on ‘what works’ is available to the people who make decisions on public services” (HM Government, 2013). The network’s key objective is to improve how government and other public services produce high quality evidence and how this is implemented for best practice and decision making.

The paper sets out to provide an overview of the key psychological, theoretical, and procedural methodologies that best support offender rehabilitation. After briefly discussing each model that is recognised as having a prominent role within this discourse, the paper will go on to review Catch22’s intervention offer and delivery approach, to establish whether they align to recognised, approved and successful models of rehabilitation.

Part 1: What are the key theories / models of offender rehabilitation?

What works?

In Martinson’s (1974) influential review of the forensic treatment literature ‘What Works? Questions and answers about prison reform’, he noted that “with few and isolated exceptions, the rehabilitation efforts that have been reported so far have had no appreciable effect on recidivism” (p. 25).

This conclusion, along with the title of the review, led to the use of the phrase “nothing works” as a characterisation of forensic treatment efforts and was accompanied by a turn toward more punitive strategies such as incarceration, intensive supervision, and boot camps to reduce reoffending (Cullen & Gendreau, 2001). The long shadow cast on the field of correctional psychology by the “nothing works” perspective was evidenced in the choice of the title (‘Does correctional treatment work?’) for a subsequent forensic treatment meta-analysis that reached far more optimistic conclusions (Andrews et al., 1990) and in the adoption of the phrase “what works” to refer to the developing literature on evidence-based practices in forensic treatment (Cullen & Gendreau, 2001; Smith, Gendreau, & Swartz, 2009).

Good Lives model

The Good Lives Model (GLM) of offender rehabilitation, suggested by Tony Ward and closely aligned with positive psychology, promotes offender well-being through prioritising one’s strengths and goal-oriented thinking (Ward, 2012). It highlights an individual’s aims, and works to achieve them through ‘practical reasoning’ and ‘coordinated action’ (Ward, 2012: 41). As human beings are goal-directed, they “intentionally modify themselves in order to increase their chances of achieving” these objectives (Ward, 2012: 42). Therefore, it is suggested that an individual resorts to criminal behaviour as they “lack the capabilities to realise valued outcomes in personally fulfilling and socially acceptable ways” (Ward, Mann & Gannon, 2007: 90). Therefore, this approach uses these assumptions to endow the ex-offender with the “skills, values, attitudes, and resources” that they need to live a personally fulfilling and socially acceptable lifestyle (Ward, Mann & Gannon, 2007: 92).

Ultimately, this holistic, future-oriented, optimistic, and goal-oriented approach aims to encourage individuals to change maladaptive cognitive and emotional processes in order to achieve socially accepted goals through guiding action rather than evaluating beliefs (Ward, 2012). It utilises a series of techniques in order to achieve these outcomes, many of which are explored further within this section of the paper.

Motivational interviewing

Motivational interviewing (MI) can be described as a ‘behaviour change technique’ that aims to “address issues associated with ambivalence about behaviour change, including decreased confidence and low self-efficacy” (Barrett et al., 2018: 2; Lundahl & Burke, 2009; Miller & Rollnick, 2012). Although some studies have shown that motivational interviewing may not be effective for goal-setting behaviours (Lundahl & Burke, 2009), motivational interviewing is reported to be effective for initiating healthy behavioural changes (Heckman, Egleston & Hofmann, 2010). Therefore, it has been suggested by some studies that motivational interviewing should be combined with other techniques or treatments in order to boost effectiveness (Barrett et al., 201). Marker & Norton (2018) found that motivational interviewing had a significant effect on anxiety reduction compared to cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) alone. However, they also reported that motivational interviewing seemed to have no significant effect on dropout rates in therapy. Nevertheless, Marker & Norton (2018) found that motivational interviewing had the potential to significantly help individuals with anxiety disorders during therapy.

Notwithstanding, Barrett and colleagues (2018) outline that motivational interviewing works best in combination with cognitive behavioural therapy techniques, which they found significantly increased physical activity in under-active adults. For treatments with integrated aspects of motivational interviewing delivered in prison, Santirso and colleagues (2020) found that participants were 1.73 times less likely to drop out compared to interventions without such strategies. Some evidence also suggests that these types of treatments had a small effect on recidivism rates for intimate partner violence offenders (Santirso et al., 2020). Considering the high drop-out rate common for many in-prison programmes, and the high recidivism rates for many ex-offenders, motivational interviewing strategies should be considered an integral part to any intervention.


The solution-focused approach to therapy and rehabilitation refers to the utilisation of ‘self-regulation’ and goal-oriented thinking to produce solutions to common problems (Gündoğdu, 2019: 27). This method aims to envisage one’s “personal potential” by utilising an “individual’s existing strengths and resources” in order to ensure positive results (Gündoğdu, 2019: 27; Rothwell, 2005).

Gringerich and Peterson (2013) found that, of 43 studies utilising a solution-focused therapy style, 32 (74%) of the studies were found to have a positive effect. Hosseinpour et al. (2016) found that solution-focused therapy may be most effective for those adapting to new situations, and both Kim (2008) and Iveson (2002) found that solution-focused therapy can be an effective measure for treating behavioural issues. Neipp et al. (2015), Grant (2013) and Pakrosnis and Cepukiene (2015) all found that university students’ experienced an increased self-efficacy and goal-oriented thinking after answering a solution-focused questionnaire. Grant (2013) also found that this helped to alleviate signs of anxiety, depression and stress for the students, and Seidel and Hedley (2008) found evidence of alleviated psychological disturbance.


A strength-based focus refers to the approach that emphasises one’s “growth, personal priorities” and social support (Fortune, 2018: 24; Vandevelde et al., 2017). Practitioners will focus on developing an individual’s strengths (for example, certain skills or effective coping mechanisms) in order to positively impact the dynamic risk factors that may cause someone to re-offend (Fortune, 2018). Furthermore, the mentor’s characteristics should also embody warmth, empathy, and a desire to help and support the offender. This approach is commonplace amongst adult sexual offender rehabilitation, of which evidence has stated that it generally produces positive outcomes (Chu et al., 2015).

Research has indicated that approaches that incorporate aspects of a strength-based focus tend to result in more positive outcomes for offenders (Gannon et al., 2011; Lindsay et al., 2007; Ware & Bright, 2008; Whitehead, Ward, & Collie, 2007). As previously mentioned, these strategies are primarily used for those that have sexually harmed, but recent years have seen this approach utilised in forensic mental health settings (Barnao, Robertson & Ward, 2010) and recently branching out to incorporate young sexual offenders, too (Chu et al., 2015). Some research has also shown that the therapeutic aspect to treatment is also enhanced with a strength-based approach (Gannon et al., 2011; Ware & Bright, 2008; Whitehead et al., 2007). Overall, this research indicates that strength-based tactics ensure an individual’s positive engagement and contribution with intervention content, which promotes desistance from offending as well as the development of positive long-term relationships and skills.


Trauma-informed care (TIC) attempts to incorporate knowledge surrounding the “neurobiological, social, and psychological effects of trauma into policies, procedures, and practices that guide a safe, compassionate, respectful service delivery environment” (Levenson & Willis, 2019: 482). According to the DSM-5, trauma can be defined as an experienced or observed event that generates emotions of fear, helplessness, or shock that appear to threaten the physical or psychological health of the onlooker or others (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Trauma-informed care depicts current problems and maladaptive coping strategies as direct effects of past traumatic events (ibid.).

Practitioners inspired by this approach actively avoid re- traumatising individuals by providing a space that allows for “vulnerability, accountability, honesty, and ultimately, change” (Levenson & Willis, 2019: 482).

Evidence has shown that in many forensic settings, such as self-regulation and traumatic stress reactions, trauma-informed care has been associated with positive outcomes (Grady, Levenson & Prescott, 2017). Furthermore, studies from Duncan and colleagues (2010) have shown that the client-centred, empathic, and collaborative approach depicted in trauma-informed care is crucial to developing successful treatment outcomes. Furthermore, trauma-informed care has been shown to work well in conjunction with the risk-need-responsivity (RNR) model of offender rehabilitation (Andrews & Bonta, 2010). Research has indicated that imprisoned females exposed to the trauma-informed care approach were more likely to participate in treatment and have fewer disciplinary warnings and conflict with other inmates (Benedict, 2014).

Relational approach

The relational approach (RA) is a method of interaction and communication that embodies the values of respect, inclusiveness, honesty, cooperation, and humility (Brookes, 2019).

Therapists are encouraged to utilise their skills of active listening and compassion in order to develop authentic and professional relationships between client and practitioner. Encouraging positive social support is a key aspect of this approach, as the relational approach mainly assumes that negative thoughts and behaviours derive from negative relationships with others (Pilling, 2020). This technique is similar to the humanistic approach in psychology, so the effectiveness of this method will be entwined within the evaluation of humanistic psychology that follows.

Risk-need-responsivity (RNR) model

The risk-need-responsivity model has become the leading model of offender assessment and rehabilitation globally. The model advises practitioners to first assess the risk that the individual may pose to themself or to others, then the criminogenic need (i.e. the risk factors associated with offender behaviour), and treat these needs in a way that is responsive to the individual (Bonta & Andrews, 2007). This model can help risk assessors to recommend certain interventions that will best suit the individual. This will be a choice from accredited offender behaviour programmes that will range in length from weeks to months and generally include discussions that will help practitioners to identify and modify cognitive dysfunctions and maladaptive thinking patterns. This model also accounts for an individual’s ‘strengths and deficits that may impact the effectiveness of particular treatment approaches for that person’ (Brogan et al., 2015: 279).

Andrews, Bonta and Wormith (2011) argue that while a combination of the Good Lives model (GLM)and risk-need-responsivity (RNR) model may facilitate a service user’s engagement in treatment, they state their concerns that crime prevention and treatment may be overshadowed should the primary goal of therapy be to achieve life fulfilment. However, these authors fail to acknowledge that by assessing and treating criminogenic (RNR) needs as well as non-criminogenic (GLM) needs, this will allow for a more holistic treatment of the offender and possibly lead to effective and positive outcomes (Ward, Yates, and Willis, 2011). Furthermore, Mikolajewski and colleagues (2021) found that the risk-need-responsivity model was an effective strategy reducing recidivism among high-risk drug offenders, but not so much low-risk offenders. Brogan and colleagues (2015) also found that even when an intervention minimally met the risk-need-responsivity principles, it still led to effective outcomes, such as reducing recidivism both in adult and juvenile settings.

Cognitive behavioural therapy

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a therapeutic treatment approach that allows individuals to identify and modify maladaptive thought patterns that may negatively impact their behaviour and/or emotions (Hofmann, 2012). Cognitive behavioural therapy emerged from the work of psychiatrist Aaron Beck, who proposed that a negative view of the self, the world, and the future is a catalyst for emotional and mental distress. In treatment, cognitive adjustments aim to alleviate emotional difficulties, depression, and anxiety. Therapists target the cognitions that immediately precede the intrusive and maladaptive behaviour, and this forms the basis of future sessions (Mitchell, Tafrate & Hogan, 2018). Such techniques to achieve this may include journaling, role-playing, relaxation techniques, and mental distractions (Tsitsas & Paschali, 2014). As well as many mental health issues (such as eating disorders, bipolar disorder and panic attacks), cognitive behavioural therapycan also be used in situations that may exacerbate mental ill-health, such as divorce, grief, insomnia and stress management.

After the introduction of ‘nothing works’, many scholars were pessimistic about the future of rehabilitative strategies. However, pioneering work from Andrews and colleagues (1990) stated that among other findings, treatments that utilised cognitive behavioural therapy techniques tended to have a greater effect on recidivism than treatments that did not. As a result, correctional psychology recommends cognitive behavioural therapy techniques as the leading implementation for treating offenders (National Institute of Corrections & Crime and Justice Institute, 2004). Studies have shown that cognitive behavioural therapy continues to remain effective at treating sex offenders (Harrison et al., 2020). Early studies have also shown that cognitive behavioural therapy has been associated with a 25% decrease in recidivism when treating anti-social behaviour (Lipsey, Landenberger & Wilson, 2007), a 37% reduction in reoffending for sex offences (Lösel & Schmucker, 2005), and generated positive outcomes in around 58% of drug offence treatment programmes (Magill & Ray, 2009). Furthermore, due to its success rate, different cognitive behavioural therapy models have been developed to tackle specific offence types, such as anti-social behaviour in general (Tafrate et al., 2018), and drug (Bishop, 2014), sex (Marshall & O’Brien, 2014), and violent offences (Eckhardt, Crane & Sprunger, 2014).

Positive discourse

Positive discourse refers to the choice of language with interventions, programmes, and rehabilitation sessions that may positively or negatively affect the outcome of said initiative. Language such as ‘deficit’, ‘disorder’, ‘risk’ and ‘rehabilitation’ have connotations of negative sentiments or expectations towards the service user, which may eventuate to lack of engagement levels and poor outcomes (Ward, Mann & Gannon, 2007). Instead, using positive discourse can give the service user the sense that there is room for growth and improvement.

Scholars have highlighted how positively adjusting the discourse within an intervention can lead to greater outcome achievement. For example, Ward, Mann and Gannon (2007: 93) have suggested that terminology regarding ‘relapse prevention’ in drug-offence rehabilitations should be changed to “self-management” or “change for life” so as to emphasise approach goals and perceptions of growth. Furthermore, Rich (2001) has highlighted that the use of positive discourse throughout intervention or mentor work can inform creativity, self-esteem and self-actualisation for clients.

Unconditional positive regard (UPR) client-centred therapy

Carl Rogers (1957) describes unconditional positive regard or client-centred therapy as an “essential facilitative condition of the therapeutic process” (Farber, Suzuki & Lynch, 2018: 211). Unconditional positive regard is the non-judgemental approach and the warmth and affirmation that practitioners must show clients despite disagreeing or disapproving of a client’s views or coping mechanisms. This helps to inspire self-worth and self-esteem for the service user, ultimately leading to positive outcomes and improved emotional wellbeing (Shefer, Carmeli & Cohn-Meitar, 2018). Myers (2007) stated that the benefit of allowing service users to explore their attitudes and values in an open-minded environment allows the individual to realise that they are still accepted and loved by others.

Carl Rogers (1957) believes that unconditional positive regard can help an individual with incongruence, when someone’s ideal self is out of step with their current self, through emphasising self-esteem and self-worth. Wouters and colleagues (2018) supported this claim, and found that many participants in their study showed evidence of increased self-worth after experiencing unconditional positive regard. Rogers (1957) also highlighted that a therapist’s ability to practise active listening, eye contact, and positive body language can cultivate more positive outcomes.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

Abraham Harold Maslow (April 1, 1908 – June 8, 1970) was a psychologist who studied positive human qualities and the lives exemplary people. In 1954, Maslow created the Hierarchy of Human Needs and expressed his theories in his book, ‘Motivation and Personality’.

Although originally a theory of motivation, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (1954) has become a key component to humanistic and positive psychology. The hierarchy of needs assumes that someone is naturally and innately driven to fulfil both basic and advanced needs, starting at the need for physiological needs such as food and water, and eventuating in self-actualisation. The ultimate goal of self-actualisation is the point of utmost life-fulfilment and personal growth, yet few individuals achieve this (Kim, 2018). Therapists and practitioners should motivate individuals to achieve this goal, due to the proven effects that it has on one’s self-esteem, cognitive abilities and positive coping mechanisms (Maslow, 1954).

A graphic depicting Maslow's "Hierarchy of Needs" pyramid (1954). It moves upwards from physiological, to safety, to love/belonging, to esteem, with self-actualisation at the top.

Self actualisation: A person’s motivation to reach his or her full potential. As shown in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, a person’s basic needs must be met before self-actualisation can be achieved.

Part 2: How does Catch22’s approach align to established offender rehabilitation models?

Positive and humanistic psychology principles

Many branches of psychological therapy tend to focus on an individual’s dysfunction and abnormal behaviour, whereas positive and humanistic psychology is built on the foundation of helping someone to achieve peak happiness and self-actualisation (Maslow, 1954; Rogers, 1957). As well as Maslow and Rogers, other key scholars in the positive psychology field include Martin Seligman, Ryan Niemic, Carol Dweck and Michael Steger.

Seligman (2018) established the PERMA model, which is an acronym for the elements of wellbeing:

  • positive emotions,
  • engagement,
  • relationship,
  • meaning,
  • accomplish.

Overall, positive psychology focuses on strengths, values, meaning and purpose, happiness, optimism, and flourishing in order to achieve self-worth, confidence, and self-esteem.

Catch22’s interventions focus on positive psychological discourse to encourage well-being and feelings of growth, key to rehabilitation for their targeted population. More specifically, the 101 mental fitness series, curated by Big Life Solutions, focuses on the key principles around maintaining balance of mental health in day-to-day living and beyond, and is largely based upon Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. These programmes offer a digestible theoretical background to explore why these principles are important to maintain mental health and in turn, allows individuals to discover and assess their own mental fitness trough self-reflective exercises. This can encourage personal growth and self-actualisation.

All Catch22 interventions are delivered by a practitioner who has undertaken both internal and external training to utilise the key elements recognised within the Good Lives model, including motivational interviewing, solution-focused, strength-based, trauma-informed, and the relational approach.

Additionally, PERMA’s recognised pillars, are an integral part of both the content and how the service is delivered. For example, the following interventions are just some that align directly or include the fundamental principles of PERMA: ‘Emotional management’, ‘Effective relationships’, and ‘Mastering your inner soundtrack’ all focus specifically on guiding individuals through the fundamentals of establishing, recognising, and maintaining positive emotions. The intervention material focuses on self-management, self-reflection and positive self-talk using the ABC model, and equips the learner with tools and techniques to continue learning. Furthermore, ‘Live like you mean it’, a three-part modular programme, focuses on establishing people’s strengths whilst recognising areas of weakness, and is delivered in a structured and supported framework.

Catch22’s flexible and person-centred delivery encourages individuals to self-reflect and achieve self-actualisation, which enables them to implement positive changes to their lifestyles. This method aligns well with the humanistic approach by promoting the richness and benefits of the human experience. By focusing on abilities and strengths within intervention, individuals can gain introspection and are able to shift into a pro-social lifestyle where they are encouraged to maintain autonomy and control.

What works?

The ‘What Works’ approach was introduced to implement the generation and collation of evidence for public services, including schools, hospitals, GP practices, residential care homes, and police forces. There are currently 10 independent ‘What Works’ research centres which systematically assess and synthesise the evidence base from ministers to frontline workers. Since the publication of ‘What Works: 5 years on‘ in January 2018, conclusions show that significant progress has been made, services have been directly influenced and informed by the findings of the What Works centres and, as a result, the “UK is now seen as a world leader in the application of evidence in policy and practice and that is largely due to the increasing profile of the What Works Centres” (GOV.UK, 2018).

A continuous effort is made to pursue best practice across Catch22 services. Research-based evidence is viewed as essential for continuous development, enabling the organisation to deliver high-quality services whilst remaining relevant and responsive to needs. Catch22’s Interventions research hub brings together academic and frontline expertise to engage and connect Catch22 with emerging social issues and global research to identify areas of best practice and respond to gaps in provision.

Catch22’s interventions are facilitated through a range of activities and delivery methods, including face-to-face, one-to-one, and group sessions, virtual delivery, self-directed skill practice, support and advocacy, and onwards mentoring and signposting. All interventions align to clear observable outcomes, have structured quality assurance and evaluation procedures: all of which are underpinned by academic research and specifically the HMPPS ‘Effective Intervention Delivery Principles Framework’. Catch22 measures the effectiveness of its interventions in achieving attitudinal shifts within its participants through use of distance travelled tools, a method that is well supported in literature.

Catch22’s intervention proves to be grounded within a well- researched and implemented evidence base, that has been successfully replicated and adapted across various environments, including both community and custodial settings.

Catch22’s ‘Rehabilitation Offering Another Direction (R.O.A.D.)’ programme also demonstrates the organisation’s commitment to embedding the service user voice in practice, having co-designed the programme alongside a group of service users at HMP Thameside. The programme was developed with the aims of providing opportunities for individuals to discuss ways to reduce violence, promote pro-social behaviour and explore a variety of other topics relevant to both their life experiences, offending, and attitudes.

Catch22 has partnered with multiple established organisations at the forefront of offender rehabilitation including, to name a few, Circles Southwest, who have a close partnership with health, police, probation and youth offending services, and Big Life Solutions, who have developed training programmes for use as part of Community Probation Orders, Prison Resettlement (as part of TTG), and has won awards from Worcestershire recovery charities and the University of Worcester for the quality of their programmes.

The ‘What Works’ approach reinforces the importance of embedding a research base within the foundations of service delivery to enable an informed, theory grounded methodology to achieve success. Catch22 strives to deliver best practice and recognises that the continuous review of its services and processes are managed, reviewed, and critiqued to maintain high quality provision.

Risk-need-responsivity model

In the first instance, risk assessments are undertaken within the referral stage to any of Catch22’s services and the individual’s ‘Risk of Serious Harm’ (ROSH) levels are determined. Additional information from the referring agency, such as the probation practitioner, may also be provided.

Additionally, Catch22 has an embedded operational framework to support practitioners to obtain additional information around risk to inform planning of service provision. Practitioners will consult with the person referred, to outline the potential benefits of engagement as well as determining the most appropriate delivery methods for that individual to maintain engagement. Consideration is given to protective characteristics to ensure the support remains person-centred and to enable a bespoke action plan of support to be created.

Catch22 services adopt a strengths-based approach, and intervention content is aligned clearly with service aims and objectives, targeted to address specific pro-criminal behaviours. Catch22 services set out to incorporate the three principles of the risk-need-responsivity model: ‘whom’, ‘what’, how’. Focusing the ‘what’ on the risk factors of the individual and the likelihood of reoffending, to which the rehabilitative interventions are curated. What is covered will focus on the individual criminogenic need, and interventions address risk factors directly. Catch22 remains responsive by considering how best to implement the delivery, promoting autonomy and strengths to improve cognitive thinking skills, decision-making skills, and promoting the success of a pro-social lifestyle.

Desistance theory

Desistance is the criminological phenomenon that observes the journey of a person who stops their criminal behavior and succeeds at a crime-free lifestyle. According to Her Majesties Inspectorate of Probation (2022), it is the process of abstaining from crime by those with a previous pattern of offending. It is an ongoing process and often involves some false stops and starts. HMIP outline the following key areas as necessary to support desistance:

  • Respect individuality: since the process of giving up crime is different for each person, delivery needs to be properly individualised.
  • Build positive relationships: service users are most influenced to change by those whose advice they respect and whose support they value. Personal and professional relationships are key to change recognise the significance of social context: desistance is related to the external/social aspects of a person’s life as well as to internal/psychological factors.
  • Giving up crime requires new networks of support and opportunities in local communities recognise and develop people’s strengths: promoting a range of protective factors and taking a strengths-based approach should be part of the supervision process. For example, strong and supportive family and intimate relationships can support individuals in their desistance journey.

– Her Majesties Inspectorate of Probation, 2020

For over 200 years, Catch 22 has designed and delivered services that build resilience and aspiration in people and communities.

The approach is underpinned by three key principles:

  • Good people: This is about putting the human connections and relationships back into public services. Our experience teaches us, time and time again, that what makes a difference in people’s lives are strong and meaningful relationships with good people who care. Whatever their needs, we surround our service users with a positive network of good people.
  • A purpose: Having something meaningful to do is essential for people trying to build better lives for themselves and their families. That could be a job, an apprenticeship, education, training, or even a social action project that contributes positively to their communities. The sense of achievement and value that comes with purposeful activity helps people understand their own potential and opens the door to real opportunity.
  • A good place to live: If a person has a good place to live, a community where they feel safe and at home, they can properly focus on making changes in the rest of their lives. This is also about encouraging and enabling communities to be more active and engaged, a vital first step in creating a thriving and prosperous society.

Catch22’s principles, and the multitude of topics that are available through their interventions offer, can support and provide individuals with the means to achieve goals; for example confidence and optimism to secure a job interview, the rebuilding of relationships, introspective discovery, and the supported planning to make goals achievable whilst encouraging creativity and personal responsibility-taking. By engaging with Catch22 intervention, individuals are better able to engage in the fundamental issues that underpin or contribute to their criminal behaviour, from mental fitness, decision-making, historic and existing influences. Working in partnership with their practitioner enables the individual to better understand themselves, their triggers, improving personal skills and behaviour changes to seek their best routes to refrain from criminal activity.

Social learning theory

Social learning theory proposes that individuals learn by observing the behaviours of other people. They model this behaviour and, in turn, evaluate the effect of those behaviours by observing the positive and negative consequences that derive (Akers, R and Jennings, W, 2016). Imperative then, is the approach to deconstruct negative learnt behaviours in a safe environment that supports a non-judgmental space and allows the time for progressive change. Interventions provide a supportive space to dig deep into social circles, childhood influences, focusing on people, places and environment that have impacted ways of thinking. Once negative behaviour influences have been identified, as featured for example, in Catch22’s ‘Behave your way to success’ programme, the individual will work towards actions that support dissociation of such negative peer or environmental influences.

‘Relationships 101’ is another short course delivered by Catch22 that allows individuals to work through social circles to identify negative relationships with the objective of sensitively distancing oneself from potential negative impact and promotes pro-social behaviour.

Additionally, the ‘R.O.A.D’ programme focuses on supporting participants to increase their awareness and understanding of structural, institutional, and societal inequalities that create disadvantage for some members of society. Exploring how these inequalities influence our identities and the way we view the world around us. Sessions unpick the power of perception, to better understand their learnt behaviours and assess whether the outcomes have positives or negative effects on both themselves and others in society.

Furthermore, considerations for staff personal learnt behaviour and social constructs are also addressed through internal and external training in unconscious biases, protected characteristics, the cycle of change, and implementing trauma-informed approaches within case management. This seeks to respond to the impact of trauma on people’s lives and aims to equip staff to empower individuals to re-establish control and autonomy whilst striving for best practice through both self-reflective and organisational reflective initiatives, taken forward through peer case revision, focus groups, discussions, and supervisions.

Cognitive behavioural therapy

The cognitive behavioural therapy approach features across Catch22’s interventions offer and assists fundamental behaviour changes within those their services seek to support. Individuals are encouraged to break down the cognitive process of their emotions, thoughts and behaviour, to implement self-reflective tools to enable a better understanding and control of their behaviour, improve coping skills and strategies to regulate mood, and demonstrate perspective-taking. This approach is evidenced in, but not limited to, ‘REASON’, ‘Consequential thinking skills’, and ‘Behave your way to success’.

The programmes promote self-efficacy, resilience, and confidence, and utilise both personal and fictional examples to support exploration of maladaptive coping mechanisms. Utilising cognitive behavioural therapy-recognised techniques such as role play, journaling, relaxation, and mindfulness in skill practice, Catch22’s interventions allow individuals to adjust the negative messages that they tell themselves, to alleviate cognitive distress, support understanding, improve the ability to recognise and manage triggers to worsening wellbeing, and build and maintain appropriate social interactions. Catch22 interventions unpack behaviour patterns and revisit past choices whilst paying attention to individual attributes that can support rehabilitation, positive mental fitness and self-management.


In recent years, Catch22’s intervention offering has expanded dramatically, with some 40 structured and evidence-based interventions, delivered through one-to-ones, group sessions, and virtual means, with the support of an ever-evolving interventions team to enable their delivery and continuous development.

Catch22 is dedicated to a continuation of practices that will support the principles of the ‘What Works’ approach: a sharp and enthusiastic methodology of discovery that seeks successes, failures and all that lies between.

There is an intention to continuously grow the intervention directory, pursuing any gaps that may appear in the offer, maximising the current offer, and discovering best utilisation methods, ensuring that a wide spectrum of growing and shifting interventions are able to meet the diverse needs of those that are referred. As such this will be an evolving document, reviewed as time goes on and lessons are learnt, reiterating the invested introspection of Catch22 and its commitment to best practice.

Continue reading